Environmental conditions prior to convective development on the Great Plains of the U.S. on one case study day were investigated using the high-resolution infrared radiation sounder (HIRS) on Nimbus 6. A dual-retrieval scheme was developed to retrieve both lower tropospheric moisture and temperature parameters from the HIRS radiances. Total precipitable water, surface dew point temperatures, and stability indices were analyzed at a resolution of up to 30 Km on this day. Correlations with interpolated NES rawinsonde values were high and intrinsic noise levels were low. The true quality of the mesoscale analyses, however, is only seen by examining the small scale features at a scale of approximately 100 Km. Perturbations on the dry line feature for this day were seen in the satellite data, although the dry line position was just as easily picked up by surface observations. Convective development 2 1/2 hours later did seem to correlate well with the local maxima of moisture and instability seen in the satellite analyses.